Ecological data exempt from general release

Find out which environmental data we have the right to withhold

Under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, we provide public access to environmental information for Wales held by us.

We have the right to withhold data under an exception in the Regulations where:

'disclosure would adversely affect the protection of the environment to which the information relates'.

This is called ecological data exempt from general release (EFGR).

Why some data is exempt from release

Certain species, and some other biodiversity features, are particularly vulnerable to damage, disturbance or commercial exploitation if data or information is made public.

Data and information which identifies the location of relevant species and habitats could be misused, deliberately or accidentally, in a way that leads to damage.

Types of damage can include:

  • collection e.g. making the location of hen harrier nests or Killarney fern populations known to collectors could lead to damage to these species
  • disturbance e.g. photographers can disturb otter holts
  • illegal activity e.g. people could use information on the location of badger setts to engage in badger baiting.

Species or features on these lists of exemptions must be subject to a specific source of pressure they are vulnerable to. This is called the threat justification. Rarity or legal designation are not enough, by themselves, to justify inclusion. Many rare species are not included.

Spatial scale

All the features on the list of exemptions have a spatial scale below which (at more detailed level) data and information are considered to increase the potential risk of damage to that feature if made public. Data and information above this spatial scale (less detailed, broader resolution) are thought to be at a level at which the risk of harm is acceptable.

Terrestrial higher and lower plants data exempt from general release

Scientific name

Common name

Lifecycle part exempt from general release

Specific data exempt from general release

Scale below which it's exempt from general release

Vulnerability justification

Threat justification

Woodsia alpina

Alpine woodsia

All

Detailed location of individuals and populations

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Red Data Book

Schedule 8 Wildlife and Countryside Act

Damage by photographers, plant collectors, public pressure (close to well-used sites)

Trichomanes speciosum

Killarney fern

Sporophyte (spore-producing form of plant)

Detailed location of individuals and populations

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Red Data Book

Priority UK Biodiversity Action Plan

Annex II Habitats & Species Directive

Schedule 8 Wildlife and Countryside Act

Damage by photographers, plant collectors, public pressure (close to well-used sites)

Woodsia ilvensis

Oblong woodsia

All

Detailed location of individuals and populations

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Red Data Book

Priority UK Biodiversity Action Plan

Schedule 8 Wildlife and Countryside Act

Damage by photographers, plant collectors, public pressure (close to well-used sites)

Potentilla rupestris

Rock cinquefoil

All

Detailed location of individuals and populations

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Red Data Book

Schedule 8 Wildlife and Countryside Act

Damage by photographers, seed collectors, public pressure (attractive plant)

Cotoneaster cambricus

Wild cotoneaster

All

Detailed location of individuals and populations

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Red Data Book

Priority UK Biodiversity Action Plan

Schedule 8 Wildlife and Countryside Act

Damage by photographers, plant collectors, public pressure (close to well-used sites)


Birds data exempt from general release 

Scientific name

Common name

Lifecycle part exempt from general release

Specific data exempt from general release

Scale below which it's exempt from general release

Vulnerability justification

Threat justification

Recurvirostra avosetta

Avocet

Breeding

Detailed location of nest sites

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Schedule 1 Wildlife and Countryside Act

Annex 1 Birds Directive

Scarce breeder

Disturbance and egg collectors

Tyto alba

Barn owl

Breeding

Detailed location of nest sites

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Schedule 1 Wildlife and Countryside Act

Disturbance

Panurus biarmicus

Bearded tit

Breeding

Detailed location of nest sites

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Schedule 1 Wildlife and Countryside Act

Scarce breeder

Disturbance

Botaurus stellaris

Bittern

Breeding

Detailed location of nest sites

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Schedule 1 Wildlife and Countryside Act

Annex 1 Birds Directive

Priority UK Biodiversity Action Plan

Welsh Assembly Government S.42.

Currently extinct as breeding species in Wales, but may start breeding soon.

Disturbance

Tetrao tetrix

Black grouse

Breeding

Detailed location of lek sites

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Priority UK Biodiversity Action Plan

Welsh Assembly Government S.42.

Disturbance

Cepphus grille

Black guillemot

Breeding

Detailed location of nest sites

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Scarce breeder

Disturbance

Cettia cetti

Cetti's warbler

Breeding

Detailed location of nest sites

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Schedule 1 Wildlife and Countryside Act

Scarce breeder.

Disturbance

Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax

Chough

Breeding and wintering

Detailed location of nest sites and winter roosts.

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Schedule 1 Wildlife and Countryside Act

Annex 1 Birds Directive

Welsh Assembly Government S.74.

Disturbance and egg collectors

Somateria mollissima

Common Eider

Breeding

Detailed location of nest sites

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Scarce breeder

Disturbance

Coturnix coturnix

Common Quail

Breeding

Detailed location of nest sites

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Scarce breeder

Disturbance

Calidris alpine

Dunlin

Breeding

Detailed location of nest sites

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Scarce breeder

Disturbance

Regulus ignicapillus

Firecrest

Breeding

Detailed location of nest sites

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Schedule 1 Wildlife and Countryside Act

Scarce breeder

Disturbance

Anas querquedula

Garganey

Breeding

Detailed location of nest sites

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Schedule 1 Wildlife and Countryside Act

Scarce breeder

Disturbance

Accipiter gentilis

Goshawk

Breeding

Detailed location of nest sites

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Schedule 1 Wildlife and Countryside Act

Disturbance and persecution

Circus cyaneus

Hen harrier

Breeding and wintering

Detailed location of nest sites and winter roosts.

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Schedule 1 Wildlife and Countryside Act

Annex 1 Birds Directive

Welsh Assembly Government S.42.

Disturbance and persecution

Falco Subbuteo

Hobby

Breeding

Detailed location of nest sites

2 figure grid ref or

10 km square

Schedule 1 Wildlife and Countryside Act

Scarce breeder

Disturbance

Pernis apivorus

Honey buzzard

Breeding

Presence of breeding pairs and detailed location of nest sites

100 km square

Schedule 1 Wildlife and Countryside Act

Annex 1 Birds Directive 

Scarce breeder

Disturbance and egg collectors

Charadrius dubius

Little ringed plover

Breeding

Detailed location of nest sites

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Schedule 1 Wildlife and Countryside Act

Disturbance

Sterna albifrons

Little tern

Breeding

Detailed location of nest sites

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Schedule 1 Wildlife and Countryside Act

Annex 1 Birds Directive

Currently restricted to 1 breeding site in Wales

Disturbance and egg collectors

Asio otus

Long-eared owl

Breeding

Detailed location of nest sites

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Scarce breeder

Disturbance

Circus aeruginosus

Marsh harrier

Breeding

Detailed location of nest sites

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Schedule 1 Wildlife and Countryside Act

Annex 1 Birds Directive

Not currently a regular breeder in Wales, but occasional records of summering birds, with possibility of future breeding

Disturbance and egg collectors

Falco columbarius

Merlin

Breeding

Detailed location of nest sites

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Schedule 1 Wildlife and Countryside Act

Annex 1 Birds Directive

Disturbance

Pandion haliaetus

Osprey

Breeding

Presence of breeding pairs and detailed location of nest sites

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Schedule 1 Wildlife and Countryside Act

Annex 1 Birds Directive

Newly colonised in 2004, scarce breeder.

Disturbance and egg collectors

Falco peregrinus

Peregrine

Breeding

Detailed location of nest sites

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Schedule 1 Wildlife and Countryside Act

Annex 1 Birds Directive

Disturbance and persecution

Aythya farina

Pochard

Breeding

Detailed location of nest sites

2 figure grid ref or

10 km square

Scarce breeder

Disturbance

Milvus milvus

Red kite

Breeding

Detailed location of nest sites

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Schedule 1 Wildlife and Countryside Act

Annex 1 Birds Directive

Disturbance and egg collectors

Sterna dougallii

Roseate tern

Breeding

Detailed location of nest sites

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Schedule 1 Wildlife and Countryside Act

Annex 1 Birds Directive

Priority UK Biodiversity Action Plan

WAG s.42.

Currently restricted to 1 breeding site in Wales

Disturbance and egg collectors

Asio flammeus

Short-eared owl

Breeding

Detailed location of nest sites

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Annex 1 Birds directive

Scarce breeder

Disturbance

Porzana porzana

Spotted crake

Breeding

Detailed location of nest sites

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Schedule 1 Wildlife and Countryside Act

Annex 1 Birds Directive

Scarce breeder

Disturbance

Carduelis flavirostris

Twite

Breeding

Detailed location of nest sites

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Welsh Assembly Government S.42.

Scarce breeder

Disturbance

Numenius phaeopus

Whimbrel

Breeding

Detailed location of nest sites

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Schedule 1 Wildlife and Countryside Act

Scarce breeder

Disturbance

Anas Penelope

Wigeon

Breeding

Detailed location of nest sites

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Scarce breeder (under 30 pairs)

Disturbance


Terrestrial vertebrates data exempt from general release

Scientific name

Common name

Lifecycle part exempt from general release

Specific data exempt from general release

Scale below which it's exempt from general release

Vulnerability justification

Threat justification

All bat species

All bat species

All

Detailed location of roosts on private property. Location of underground roost sites.

Names of roosts which reveal exact or personal addresses.

4 figure grid reference or

1 km square

Schedule 5 Wildlife and Countryside Act

Annex II & IV Habitats and Species Directive

Priority UK Biodiversity Action Plan

Disturbance of bats and alienation of landowner

Meles meles

Badger

All

Detailed location of setts

4 figure grid reference or

1 km square

Badgers Act 1992

Badger baiting and digging

Lutra lutra

Otter

All

Detailed location of holts

4 figure grid reference or

1 km square

Schedule 5 of Wildlife and Countryside Act

Annex II & IV Habitats & Species Directive

Priority UK Biodiversity Action Plan

Disturbance

Castor Fiber

Eurasian Beaver

All

All information including detailed location of lodges/burrows, numbers evidence of signs of activity such as cut vegetation and feeding signs

2 figure grid reference or

20 km square

Classed as GB as Native re-introduced no current protection in Wales but protected in Scotland and under review as part of the current (2021) Quinquennial Review 7 (QQR7) of Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act

Very small numbers present in Wales due to illegal releases and/or escaped captive animals

Disturbance and persecution


Freshwater invertebrates data exempt from general release

Scientific name

Common name

Lifecycle part exempt from general release

Specific data exempt from general release

Scale below which it's exempt from general release

Vulnerability justification

Threat justification

Margaritifera margaritifera

Freshwater pearl mussel

Adult

Detailed location and records of numbers (density) of the species.

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

Priority UK Biodiversity Action Plan

Annex II Habitats and Species Directive

Berne Appendix I

Schedule 5 Wildlife and Countryside Act

Populations already on verge of extinction

Illegal pearl-fishing invariably kills mussels


Marine species and habitats data exempt from general release

Scientific name

Common name

Lifecycle part exempt from general release

Specific data exempt from general release

Scale below which it's exempt from general release

Vulnerability justification

Threat justification

Palinurus elephas

Crawfish

All

Detailed location and records of numbers (density) of the species.

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

UK Biodiversity Action Plan

Welsh Assembly Government S.42.

Decline in Wales since 1980 (Hunter 1999)

Commercial and recreational fishing is threatening stocks

Ostrea edulis

Native oyster

All

Detailed location and records of numbers (density) of the species.

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

UK Biodiversity Action Plan

Welsh Assembly Government S.42.

Commercial fishing is threatening stocks.

IMX.Ost (biotope code)

Oyster bed habitat

N/a

Detailed location of biotope and records of numbers (density) of the species.

20 km square

UK Biodiversity Action Plan

Welsh Assembly Government S.42.

Commercial fishing is threatening stocks

Hippocampus guttulatus

Seahorse

All

Detailed location and records of numbers (density) of the species.

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

UK Biodiversity Action Plan

Welsh Assembly Government S.42.

Berne Convention, CITES, OSPAR priority species

Very few recorded in Welsh waters, but numbers may increase with sea temperature rise

Collecting for aquaria

Hippocampus hippocampus

Short snouted seahorse

All

Detailed location and records of numbers (density) of the species.

2 figure grid reference or

10 km square

UK Biodiversity Action Plan

Berne Convention, CITES, OSPAR priority species

Currently no records for Wales but may increase with sea temperature rise

Collecting for aquaria


Bat species data exempt from general release

These are bat species either known to occur in the UK or be potential transient species. Other bat species which are transient and not listed will also be classed as exempt from general release.

Scientific Name

Common Name

Myotis alcathoe

Alcathoe bat

Barbastella barbastellus

Barbastelle

Myotis bechsteinii

Bechstein's bat

Myotis brandtii

Brandt's bat

Plecotus auritus

Brown long-eared bat

Pipistrellus pipistrellus

Common pipistrelle

Myotis daubentonii

Daubenton's bat

Rhinolophus ferrumequinum

Greater horseshoe bat

Plecotus austriacus

Grey long-eared bat

Nyctalus leisleri

Leisler's bat

Rhinolophus hipposideros

Lesser horseshoe bat

Pipistrellus nathusii

Nathusius' pipistrelle

Myotis nattereri

Natterer's bat

Nyctalus noctula

Noctule

Eptesicus serotinus

Serotine

Pipistrellus pygmaeus

Soprano pipistrelle

Myotis mystacinus

Whiskered bat

Myotis myotis

Greater mouse-eared bat (possibly transient)